BA (Hons) Theatre and Drama
Drama at USW is rated top in Wales for overall satisfaction, learning opportunities, academic support National Student Survey 2023
This Theatre and Drama degree invites you to explore theatre-making. You’ll integrate practise and theory, work with play texts and devise and link personal creativity with ensemble-based artistic collaboration. You’ll investigate approaches, conventions and theories connected to theatre and drama through studio practice and academic research.
Our range of modules enables you to study acting, directing, theatre and performance histories and theories, voice and movement, devising, ensemble practice, theatre production, applied drama, practice as research, and more. The flexible nature of our drama degree means you can focus on your interests and career goals.
Studying drama in Cardiff, you’ll benefit from being in the centre of a booming arts industry, from television production to independent arts venues. So, you’ll be surrounded by countless opportunities during and after your drama course.
Top in Wales for Drama and Dance (Guardian University Guide 2023).
In practical workshops, you’ll explore a variety of approaches to theatre from the perspective of the actor, director, deviser, facilitator and writer. In lectures and seminars, you’ll discuss and debate a broad spectrum of theatre and drama, including historical approaches, theories and ideas about theatre and theatre-making, and performances in different parts of the world.
You’ll have the opportunity to study topics in which staff have specialist expertise, such as site-specific and offsite performance, adaptation, scriptwriting, physical theatre, theatre and science/action, horror performance, Elizabethan and Jacobean drama, and musical theatre, among others.
Our workshop and seminar studies are complemented by visits to the theatre, participation in public performances, and opportunities for industry placements. You’ll also have the chance to work with established professionals as part of the international arts scene in Cardiff and further afield.
In year three, working with fellow students, you can present your work at our annual student theatre festival. Our employability module will enable you to prepare yourself for a career anchored in theatre and drama.
- Perspectives on Performance
- Practical Lab
- Professional Skills 1
- Professional Skills 2
- Intersections: Devised Storytelling
- Theatre Festival
- Specialist Studies 1
- Applied Drama
- Professional Practice & Employability
- Specialist Studies 2
- Specialist Studies 3
- Research Project
This drama degree is structured to ensure that the theories, conventions and approaches covered in class are explored through academic and practical work.
We use a range of teaching methods, including lectures, seminars, workshops, intensive rehearsals, masterclasses with visiting practitioners, web-based forums, work placement projects, and hands-on training with technical equipment.
The work submitted for assessment by our students is equally varied and incorporates conference presentations, online portfolios, reflections on practice, and running workshops, as well as essays and performance work.
There is currently no accreditation associated with this course.
We offer impressive facilities at USW Cardiff, including a 160-seat auditorium theatre with a sprung stage floor, full lighting rig, two brand-new dance studios and new drama spaces. There are also four black box studio theatres and professional film studios with green screen and motion capture facilities on campus.
Dr Ian McNish, Drama Course Leader
Michael Carklin, Academic Subject Manager
Dr Hilary Ramsden, Senior Lecturer
Dr Marta Minier, Lecturer
Dr Nigel Long, Lecturer
Dr Geraint D’Arcy, Lecturer
Dr Jodie Allinson, Lecturer
Dr Lisa Lewis, Reader
We regularly revalidate courses for quality assurance and enhancement
At USW, we regularly review our courses in response to changing patterns of employment and skills demand to ensure we offer learning designed to reflect today’s student needs and tomorrow’s employer demands.
If during a review process course content is significantly changed, we’ll write to inform you and talk you through the changes for the coming year. But whatever the outcome, we aim to equip our students with the skillset and the mindset to succeed whatever tomorrow may bring. Your future, future-proofed.
The entry criteria below reflect our standard entry requirements for the course for September 2023. However, all applications received by the University are reviewed holistically and individually. Entry criteria for September 2024 is changing and will be published on ucas.com from 8th May 2023. Entry criteria for September 2024 will be updated on our website from the end of October 2023.
We may make you a lower offer based on a range of factors, including your background (where you live and the school or college that you attended for example), your experiences and individual circumstances (as a care leaver, for example). This is referred to as a contextual offer and we receive data from UCAS to support us in making these decisions. USW prides itself on its student experience and we support our students to achieve their goals and become a successful graduate. This approach helps us to support students who have the potential to succeed and who may have faced barriers that make it more difficult to access university. Here is a link to our Contextual Admissions Policy.
Other qualifications and experience
We can also consider combinations of qualifications and other qualifications not listed here may also be acceptable. We can sometimes consider credits achieved at other universities and your work/life experience through an assessment of prior learning. This may be for year one entry, or advanced entry to year two or three of a course where this is possible.
To find out which qualifications have tariff points, please refer to the UCAS tariff calculator.
If you need more help or information or would like to speak to our friendly admissions team, please contact us here
Applicants in the UK
Selection for this course is based on a suitable application. If you do not meet the entry criteria you may also be required to attend an interview to help us assess your suitability for the course.
Applicants outside the UK
Selection for this course is based on a suitable application and submission of a portfolio of your work which the Course Leader confirms is suitable for an offer to be made.
Typical A-Level Offer
BCC - CDD to include a relevant art and design subject (this is equivalent to 104-80 UCAS tariff points).
Typical Welsh BACC Offer
Pass the Advanced Welsh Baccalaureate Diploma with Grade C/D in the Skills Challenge Certificate and BC - CD at A Level with a relevant art and design subject (this is equivalent to 104-80 UCAS tariff points).
Typical BTEC Offer
BTEC Extended Diploma Distinction Merit Merit - Merit Merit Pass in a relevant subject (this is equivalent to 112-80 UCAS tariff points).
Typical Access to HE Offer
Pass the Access to HE Diploma with a minimum of 80 UCAS tariff points
GCSEs: The University normally requires a minimum 5 GCSEs including Mathematics/Numeracy and English at Grade C or Grade 4 or above, or their equivalent, but consideration is given to individual circumstances.
International Entry Requirements
We also welcome international applications with equivalent qualifications. Please visit the country specific pages on our international website for exact details.
In general, international applicants will need to have achieved an overall IELTS grade of 6.0 with a minimum score of 5.5 in each component.
However, if you have previously studied through the medium of English IELTS might not be required, but please visit the country specific page on our international website for exact details. If your country is not featured please contact us.
Full-time fees are per year. Part-time fees are per 20 credits. Once enrolled, the fee will remain at the same rate throughout the duration of your study on this course
August 2023 - July 2024 Fees
Full-time UK: £9000
Full-time International: £14100
August 2024 - July 2025 Fees
Full-time UK: TBC
Full-time International: TBC
At the University of South Wales, you’re investing in so much more than a degree. We strive to provide our students with the best possible experience, no matter what you chose to study. Whether it’s access to top of the range mac books and PCs, state-of-the-art facilities packed with industry-leading equipment and software, masterclasses and events led by industry experts, or a wide range of clubs and societies to meet likeminded people, better tomorrows start with extra perks.
Each course also has their own unique student benefits to prepare you for the real word, and details of these can be found on our course pages. From global field trips, integrated work experience and free course-related resources, to funded initiatives, projects working with real employers, and opportunities for extra qualifications and accreditations - at USW your future, is future-proofed.
As a student of USW, you’ll have access to lots of free resources to support your study and learning, such as textbooks, publications, online journals, laptops, and plenty of remote-access resources. Whilst in most cases these resources are more than sufficient in supporting you with completing your course, additional costs, both obligatory and optional, may be required or requested for the likes of travel, memberships, experience days, stationery, printing, or equipment.
|Kit (Uniform and Equipment)||£150||
Rehearsal clothing/costumes. All academic years
International Field Trip. Year 2 and/ or 3
|Additional assessment or memberships||£50||
Grad Show/Production costs
DBS Clearance for Applied Drama activities (Optional module) This fee includes £44 for the enhanced DBS certificate, the Post Office Administration fee and the online administration fee.
|DBS Updating Service||£13||
Whilst optional it is strongly recommended signing up for this service especially if you are likely to have placements each year and wish to pursue a career post University where a DBS check is a requirement. Please note the service has to be joined within 19 days of receipt of your enhanced DBS certificate.
£200 for books across all academic years. £100 Students may be expected to travel to master classes/ conferences at their own cost
Funding to help pay for (or cover) course tuition fees and living costs
Whilst you’re studying, you’ll have two main financial obligations – tuition fees and living costs. There’s lots of financial help available from the University of South Wales and external funding sources, that may provide loans (which have to be paid back) and grants, scholarships and bursaries (that don't).
To learn about course fees, funding options, and to see if you are eligible for financial support, visit our Fees and Funding pages.
Apply via UCAS if you are a UK residing applicant, applying for year one of a full-time undergraduate degree, Foundation Year, Foundation Degree or HND and you have not applied through UCAS before. If you are applying to study part-time, to top up your Foundation Degree or HND, or to transfer to USW from another institution, please apply directly.
International and EU students
Apply directly to the University if you live outside the UK.
Theatre and drama graduates follow a wide range of careers. Many are employed in the media entertainment industries, while others choose to start up their own production companies, while some enter the teaching profession. The flexible and inclusive nature of the drama course ensures that our graduates have a highly developed range of transferable skills, enhancing their employability and career potential. Graduates can further their studies by applying for one of our postgraduate degrees.
South Wales is a region with a booming arts industry, from television production to independent arts venues. With our degrees, you’ll study in the heart of Cardiff, surrounded by countless opportunities during your course and after graduation.
Our Careers and Employability Service
As a USW student, you will have access to advice from the Careers and Employability Service throughout your studies and after you graduate.
This includes one-to-one appointments from faculty-based Career Advisers, in person, over the phone or even on Skype and through email via the "Ask a Question" service. We also have extensive online resources for help with considering your career options and presenting yourself well to employers. Resources include psychometric tests, career assessments, a CV builder, interview simulator and application help. Our employer database has over 2,000 registered employers targeting USW students, you can receive weekly email alerts for jobs.
Our Careers service has dedicated teams: A central work experience team to help you find relevant placements; an employability development team which includes an employability programme called Grad Edge; and an Enterprise team focused on new business ideas and entrepreneurship.